Praying for solace

November 23, 2010 When you’re a bereaved parent, to say holidays suck is putting it mildly. Nothing is the same; everything changes, in ways you’d never imagine. The grief is like a weight tied around your foot, pulling you further and further down. If you can keep your head above the water, then you’re doing all right by most accounts.

Holiday book list

November 23, 2010 The holidays are approaching rapidly. Chanukah begins Dec. 2 and Christmas is not far behind. There will be plenty of books being given as gifts, most of them from the bestseller lists. However, if you’re shopping for someone who loves books it can be difficult to know if you’ve found something they’ve never read.

Giving thanks

November 23, 2010 I’m thankful that this year many merchants were considerate enough to begin Christmas sales shortly after Columbus Day to avoid interfering with Halloween and Thanksgiving.I’m also thankful that:• Starbucks managed to put the snowflake designs on its paper cups long before most of the country got any snow.• The Neiman Marcus Christmas Book — a catalog so lavish they call it a book — this year includes a $15,000 edible gingerbread playhouse.

Finding revenue

November 22, 2010 LITTLE ROCK  — The Blue Ribbon Committee on Highway Finance last week finalized a report on how to pay for improvements and maintenance to state highways and bridges.The Legislature will consider the proposals during the regular session that begins Jan. 10. Members of the Blue Ribbon Committee have suggested that tax increases may need to be referred to voters for approval, rather than enacted by the Legislature, because the political climate at the Capitol is strongly against tax increases.

Royal excitement

November 22, 2010 Don’t tell anyone, but when I was about 13 years old I dreamed I would be the girl who would capture the heart of England’s Prince William, the eldest son of Prince Charles and Diana Windsor. Long before the Internet, I was lucky to have the complete Encyclopedia Britannica collection while growing up and it was there I first learned of William and our tiny two-year age difference. I’d daydream about how neat it would be to meet the royal prince and be the one he would choose as his wife.Me, a commoner.

Thanksgiving holidays of yore

November 22, 2010 The fourth Thursday of November is definitely the bestest holiday. Food, Family, Friends and Football. Four of the five F’s. I most fondly remember the Thanksgivings of yesteryear. The big, old family reunions, which I looked forward to, until about five seconds after I hit the driveway, then it all comes back … why I left home. And they always made me sit at that stupid fold-up cardboard kids’ table. Never got to graduate to the wooden table because none of them would die. Darn medical advances.

Sharia scare

November 19, 2010 Much of the news media seemed bemused or bewildered when Sharron Angle warned of an Islamic-law takeover in America during her unsuccessful bid to unseat Sen. Harry Reid.Angle was widely ridiculed for citing Frankford, Texas (a town that no longer exists), and Dearborn, Mich. (with a large population of Arab-Americans living under American law), as examples of the imposition of Islamic or sharia law.

Baber sighting on Main

November 19, 2010 Rally on Main Street.Hey, why not? Rallies are the rage. Just stick that title on your next multi-level marketing meeting flyer and maybe, this time, somebody will show up.OK. It ain’t exactly a rally, in the classical sense. More like a BOOK SIGNING for my new novel, “Purity.” It’ll be Saturday from noon until 2 p.m. at the Paper Chase Book Store on Main Street in Batesville.

Tuition for illegal aliens

November 18, 2010 There is a very Kafkaesque feel to this week’s decision by the California Supreme Court to allow illegal aliens who graduated from state high schools to continue receiving in-state tuition at California’s public universities and colleges.So, let’s get this straight. Thousands of people in California public colleges and universities are in the state and the country illegally. They are rewarded for this with in-state tuition rates, while those in the country legally — but not California residents — pay higher rates to attend California schools. Yes, that’s definitely Kafkaesque.

Off to a good start

November 18, 2010 If Sen. Mitch McConnell’s pledge to get behind the movement to ban the cynical practice of earmark spending is any indication that Republicans heard the message voters sent them in the recent Congressional elections, the GOP is off to a good start.It’s about time. Over the years, members of Congress have acquired a lot of bad habits and the use of so-called earmarks — the Senate tacking on spending measures to bills that have already passed the House — are among the worst.